Instagram Advice for Parents

In the last CyberSense Minute, Mirabai explained why many kids like to have a second Instagram spam account.

Teens enjoy using Instagram and it is often the first social media account they ask their parents permission to sign up. Here are a few ground rules I recommend discussing with your kids.

If you allow your teens to have Instagram there are THREE things you should discuss with them:

1 – Stranger Danger! Make sure your child’s account is set as Private so they can control who sees their photos. Tell your teen they should only accept a new follower if they are sure they know who it is. Disable location sharing in their phone’s settings. Don’t let them put personal identifying information in their Instagram Profile.

3 – Digital Footprint – Make sure your child understands that it is difficult to take-back a photo or comment once it has been posted. The things they post today can affect their future. Chat with them about cyber-bullying and sexting. Remind them that happiness doesn’t come from getting the most likes or followers.

2 – Addiction – Instagram is one of the most addictive apps your child can have on their phone. The company itself reports that young people spend at least 30 minutes a day using the app. Talk with your children about reasonable limits on screen time. Instagram has an Activity Dashboard which shows how much time they are using the app each day and allows them to set a limit.

Let your kids know that you are always there for them and
above all – you want them to be safe and happy.